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Value Elements Analysis in Distribution Channels: A Case Study of New Timber Product Development for DIY Retailer
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial Marketing and Industrial Economics . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2010 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Research in, such as marketing and product development, have shown that understanding customer needs is critical for success. However, a question remain is that manufacturers should create value for which actor (s). Different actors in distribution channel have varied purposes and their perceptions towards value may vary, with potentially conflicting agendas. Most of existing new product development literature has only focused on needs of end consumers or users. Other actors in a supply chain, such as distributor, have less been discussed. This paper examines various tangible and intangible value elements that emphasized by channel actors, particularly the retailer, with a new product launch context. This study adopted an exploratory case study approach. A value element analysis framework is firstly developed based on existing concepts and theories; it is then applied in and adjusted by a case of new timber product launch, in which the authors have researched at primary and secondary level. The findings derived from in-depth interviews demonstrate that retailer is the most important interface between manufacturers and consumers so their needs should be equally emphasized as consumers’ needs. Arguably, retailers’ needs and end consumers’ needs should be considered in different stages of new product development. In addition, this study finds out that although product, distribution, service and supplier attributes are all relevant to retailers, the importance of them varied in the stage of product design and launch. This study also notes that the identification, determination and communication of value is complex issue that could be influenced by many factors thereby can not be determined by one single rule.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
DIY retailers, timber products, customer value, value elements, new product development
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-63131OAI: diva2:376613
ISBM Academic Conference 2010: Advances in B-2-B Marketing, August 11-12, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Leen Wood Engineering (LWE)
Available from: 2010-12-12 Created: 2010-12-12 Last updated: 2011-01-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Developments in Distribution Channels: A Case Study of a Timber Product Distribution Channel
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Developments in Distribution Channels: A Case Study of a Timber Product Distribution Channel
2010 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis describes and analyses the trends and developments of actors along distribution channel. In particular, the study focuses on resellers and manufacturer based on the empirical material from one particular case study. The study has three main goals: (1) to investigate the challenges arising from channel actor developments, the effects of these developments on the structure of the retailer supply chain and their implications for manufacturers and suppliers, (2) to identify explanations for manufacturer’s vertical integration of distribution and the resulting impacts and, (3) to conduct a preliminary customer value analysis relating to the distribution channel of solid wood products.

The study has taken an exploratory and qualitative research approach with an abductive reasoning process. A case study strategy was adopted, which studied a distribution channel consisting of a Sweden-based timber manufacturer that vertically integrated a distributor in the UK. Semi-structured interviews comprised the primary data collection technique in this study. A two-step data collection process was conducted between May 2009 and April 2010, including 29 interviews with 24 interviewees from eight organizations, representing the manufacturer, distributor and reseller in the distribution channel. Non-participating observations were carried out by attending sales meeting and joining account managers on store visits. All interviews were documented and transcribed and the information was collated into case units, along with any supporting secondary data, such as company magazines, web resources, annual reports, sales reports, meeting presentations, etc.

This thesis has produced several findings. Reseller developments have promoted the formation of reseller demands, such as integrated solutions with respects to logistics, marketing, merchandising, innovation, etc. Retailer developments have driven the change of a retailer supply chain structure, and have opened up a number of new questions to be posed on manufacturer and its positioning in the supply chain. The most important factors driving the manufacturer’s vertical integration of distribution are customer demands, the manufacturer’s repositioning strategy with regard to its business focus and its positioning in the supply chain. The vertical integration of distribution transforms the manufacturer into a direct supplier to large timber product resellers. It also offers the supplier a great opportunity to enhance offerings and establish strategic relationship with customers. The output of suppliers has expanded from solely manufacturing goods to also include services and knowledge associated with goods. In practice, it can be complicated for a supplier to create and communicate value. A full understanding of what timber product customers seek in terms of value elements has not yet been achieved. This study has assisted in terms of understanding the differing value that channel actors place on a range of product, physical distribution, service and supplier value elements by developing a value analysis framework. Suppliers can use this framework when designing, customizing and marketing offerings for customers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2010. 114 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1358
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-64362 (URN)LiU-TEK-LIC 2010:29 (Local ID)978-91-7393-268-4 (ISBN)LiU-TEK-LIC 2010:29 (Archive number)LiU-TEK-LIC 2010:29 (OAI)
2010-12-20, 3C:817, A Building, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2011-01-20 Created: 2011-01-20 Last updated: 2011-03-23Bibliographically approved

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